"Prior to the turkey tradition Christmas fare included roast swan, pheasants and peacocks. A special treat was a roast goals head decorated with holly and fruit. Henry VIII was considered the first English King to enjoy turkey. Edward VII made eating turkey fashionable at Christmas."
Shakespeare talked about it in Henry IV. And then of course, the Christmas Carol elevated it to stardom. Some believe Scrooge's gift of a Christmas turkey to the Crotchet family helped cement the turkey's place at the centre of the holiday meal for both modest and affluent households of England.
And what about the tradition of breaking the wishbone? It comes from Europe, and is thousands of years old, originating with the Etruscans who believed chickens were oracles and could predict the future.
Are there Christmas meal records? One site says that "One notable medieval English Christmas celebration featured a giant, 165-pound pie. The pie was nine feet in diameter. Its ingredients included 2 bushels of flour, 20 pounds of butter, 4 geese, 2 rabbits, 4 wild ducks, 2 woodcocks, 6 snipes, 4 partridges, 2 neats' tongues, 2 curlews, 6 pigeons and 7 blackbirds.
We have some pictures today to "Puslinch Steam" and another of the Christmas greetings.